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Flames to Host Lancers in 2017 Big South Opener, Wednesday

February 28, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Junior Diego Castano and the Flames will take on Longwood on Wednesday afternoon in both teams’ 2017 Big South Conference opener.

Junior Diego Castano and the Flames will take on Longwood on Wednesday afternoon in both teams' 2017 Big South Conference opener.

The Liberty Flames men's tennis team will host Longwood on Wednesday afternoon in both teams' 2017 Big South Conference opener.

The match between the Flames (4-4, 0-0 Big South) and Lancers (4-1, 0-0 Big South) will begin at 3 p.m. at the Cook Tennis Center.

Series History
The Liberty men's tennis team is 18-4 all-time against Longwood. The Flames topped the Lancers, 7-0, in their 2016 Big South Conference opener on March 2, 2016 in Farmville, Va.  

How to Follow the Flames
The Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN) will be providing a live broadcast of the match. To watch the match, find the link for the live video on the Liberty men's tennis schedule & results panel on LibertyFlames.com.

Live stats for the contest will be available by clicking the link on the Liberty men's tennis schedule & results panel on LibertyFlames.com. Also, be sure to follow @LUGameday on Twitter for live in-match updates.

Season Update
The Flames have been off from competition since the weekend of Feb. 17-19. On Feb. 17, Liberty defeated N.C. Central, 5-2, in a road matchup in Durham, N.C. Two days later, the Flames fell, 7-0, at Furman, moving their record to an even 4-4 on the season.

Liberty will host Big South foe Campbell, March 9 at 2 p.m., in its next match.

Inside the Numbers
Freshman Vince Salas owns the Flames' best overall mark (12-8) in singles during the 2016-17 season. The Angeles, Philippines, native is 4-4 in singles dual competition, so far this spring. Salas and his doubles partner, junior Diego Castano, hold the best doubles record for Liberty in the spring at 4-3.

Fellow freshman Chase Burton has nine singles victories for the season, including a 4-4 mark in the spring. He holds a 4-2 record playing out of the No. 1 position.

Sophomore Eddie Gutierrez has the Flames' best singles mark (5-3) in 2017 and is 9-9 overall in singles during the 2016-17 season. Gutierrez is 3-1 in No. 2 singles in dual competition.

2017 Big South Outlook
The Liberty men's tennis team was chosen to finish fourth in the Big South Conference men's tennis preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches in January.

The Flames garnered one first-place vote and 41 points in the poll. Winthrop picked up three first-place votes and 54 points overall to earn the top spot, followed by Presbyterian (two first-place votes, 52 points) and Campbell (two first-place votes, 50 points). Gardner-Webb (35 points) was picked to finish fifth, followed by UNC Asheville (27 points), Radford (16 points) and Longwood (13 points).  

The 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship will be played at Wake Forest from April 19-21.

Scouting Longwood
The Lancers enter Wednesday's Big South opener with non-conference wins over Mary Washington, Delaware, North Carolina A&T and West Virginia Wesleyan in the month of February. Longwood's lone setback came at Elon, Feb. 19.

All eight players on the Lancers' roster are international players. Longwood second-year head coach Pierre Tafelski's team is made up of three freshmen, one sophomore, two juniors and two seniors.

Sophomore Julian Farthing and Freshman Amadeo Hervas both have identical 9-2 singles records to lead their squad, this season. Hervas is an unblemished 5-0 in singles play (4-0 No. 2 singles) in 2017.

Hervas and senior Florian Uffer make up Longwood's most formidable doubles unit. The tandem is 4-1 out of the No. 1 doubles spot, this spring in dual competition.

The Lancers went 7-15 overall and 0-8 in Big South play during the 2015-16 season.